Question of Palestine home
7 March 1988
Letter dated 7 March 1987 from the representative
of Israel to the Secretary-General
[7 March 1988]
At 7 o'clock this morning, three PLO terrorists seized a Renault vehicle south of Beersheba. They opened fire and threw grenades indiscriminately while driving on the Beersheba Dimona highway. They then seized a bus and took nine passengers as hostages, eight of whom were women. The bus was finally stopped by the Israel Defense Forces. The terrorists demanded the release of PLO terrorists in Israeli jails. To back up their demands, they murdered the male hostage, Victor Ran, a 39-year-old widower and father of three. They then murdered two of the women, Rina Shirtsky, a 31-year-old mother of two, and Miriam Ben Yair, a 46-year-old mother of four. Security forces stormed the bus and killed the terrorists.
This latest attack came only a few days after a foiled car-bomb attempt on the life of U.S. Secretary of State Shultz in Jerusalem (4 March), and another car-bomb attempt in the Israeli town of Kfar Sava (3 March). A week earlier, three PLO terrorists were intercepted en route to Israel with orders to murder civilians in the Israeli town of Nahariya. A similar group was intercepted yesterday en route to Kibbutz Malkiyah where they were planning to seize hostages.
These recent attacks are significant for three reasons:
1. All were carried out by Fatah, the main branch of the PLO headed by Yasser Arafat;
2. All were directed against civilians in the heart of Israel;
3. All were timed to scuttle progress toward peace negotiations, as is readily apparent by the attempt to murder Secretary Shultz.
Last week in the General Assembly I spoke of the conflict between the PLO charter and the Charter of the UN. The PLO's campaign of terror is meant not only to kill Israelis and annihilate Israel, but to murder the idea of peace itself. Such an organization and such a programme has no place in the United Nations.
I have the honour to request that this letter be circulated as a document of the Security Council.
Permanent Representative of Israel
to the United Nations